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Computational methods for modelling and validating cheese whey fermentation process in anaerobic structured bed reactor

Grant number: 19/19152-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal researcher:Rogers Ribeiro
Grantee:Thiago Ravanini do Nascimento
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/06246-7 - Biorefinery concept applied to biological wastewater treatment plants: environmental pollution control coupled with material and energy recovery, AP.TEM


Brazilian agroindustry has an expressive, but not exploited, source of energy in its wastewaters and byproducts. For instance, cheese whey provided from the dairy industry may be exploited in many ways, e.g. biological hydrogen production by fermentative pathways. Besides, computational advances on modelling bioprocesses allow predicting efficiency, project failures, changing of operational parameters and different bulk configurations. The current project aims to depict the fermentation process of cheese whey conducted inside an anaerobic structured bed reactor (AnSTBR) by coupling the following computational methods, i.e. modified Anaerobic Digestion Model no. 1 (ADM1) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). For modified ADM1 containing reverse ² oxidation pathway, it is suggested the use of Monte Carlo Markov Chain simulations for free parameters optimization, and its further calibration by formerly batch kinetic data. Whilst, 3-D AnSTBR CFD model will carry operational parameters and bulk configuration employed by Blanco (2018), calibrating the model with previous hydrodynamics data. The continuous computational representation of AnSTBR will comprise both anaerobic digestion reactions and fluid dynamics simulations simultaneously. Finally, validating the computational method by crossing continuous fermentation of cheese whey data against simulated data is targeted. (AU)

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